Catholic Schools Week 2015

St. Anselm Catholic Academy: Educating Students in the Image and Values of the Lord

Saint Anselm
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The teachers and staff at St. Anselm Catholic Academy, Bay Ridge, hold true to the school mission to treat every student and family with respect and to maximize the spiritual, academic, emotional and social growth of all of students. They respect and acknowledge that every student is unique and every student is a gift from God.

The spiritual growth of every student comes first. This is accomplished through daily prayer; religious education; events such as First Friday Mass and Rosary Rallies; liturgical and Lenten celebrations, sacramental preparation and the joy of the Resurrection of Our Lord at Easter.

The school community also discusses and reflects on monthly values such as faith, hope, love, charity, tolerance and understanding. In addition, the academy stresses the importance of emotional and social growth by building personal responsibility in students.

It also emphasizes: the understanding of the value of persistence and “grit” in daily life and in dealing with others; the importance of taking the initiative to solve problems; and the moral courage to deal with obstacles, setbacks or even failure. All of this is done in a supportive and nurturing way and is differentiated based on student age and grade level.

Rigorous academics are stressed through the application of Common Core strategies in ELA and math and across content areas in religion, social studies and science.

Specifically, the school uses reading programs such as Investigator in PreK-3, OWL (On Our Way to Learning) in PreK-4, Super Kids in kindergarten, Treasures and Readings in Art in grades one through five and Scholastic’s CODEX in grades six through eight.

In addition, the school has a comprehensive shared reading list in kindergarten through grade eight. Students study the traditional foundations of ELA via phonics, spelling, vocabulary development and grammar instruction. For this school year, the school has introduced the study of Latin and Greek roots in kindergarten through eighth grade. The academy has taken the initiative and steps to continue to improve student writing in grades three through eight. The academy has also established a school-wide goal that every student in kindergarten through eighth grade will independently read a minimum of 25 books of the student’s own choice throughout the school year.

In math, the academy has adopted the Go Math! curriculum in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school also utilizes resources provided by the states Education Department’s Engage NY website. A further emphasis has been made on “hands-on math”: modeling in math classes, coding in technology classes in all grades and the integration of STEM activities.

Science instruction is supported by lab activities and the recent installation of a fully functioning 24/7 Internet-based “Weather Bug” weather station on the school rooftop, which provides real-time data such as current temperature, relative humidity, dew point temperature, wind speed and direction and historical data. The data is available in all classrooms via the Internet, SMART Board displays and a free app on smart phones and iPads.

In social studies, there are opportunities for Project Based Learning (PBL) for all students and in middle school grades the additional study of contemporary topics of interest to our student via the use of magazines such as Upfront! (a joint New York Times and Scholastic publication) and Choices.
In educating students the academy wants it all! It wants students to be college and career ready and prepared for the next academic step, whether that is the next grade or high school study. The school community believes the best and most successful path is via academic rigor, challenge and growth, but most importantly via personal responsibility, Gospel values and living a life in “the image and values of our Lord!”

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